(This article is the 7th, and final article, in a series of articles on selling, the aim of which is to help trainers understand that selling does not have to be something they hate doing)
Over the last 3 articles I put forward that an attitude of abundance, being a great listener, compassion, and curiosity were key traits for effective selling. As mentioned, these traits are possibly surprising to most people, as there is such a negative stereotype when it comes to selling. If you are surprised by the traits mentioned above then you may be very surprised to hear that honesty is another one of those key traits.
When most of us think of sales honesty is not the first word that comes to mind, but this series of articles is meant to re-frame how you view selling. We all have our guard up in selling situations; this is the natural outcome of having dealt with so many terrible salespeople over the course of our lives. Given the very low bar that has been set in this regard, acting with honesty and integrity (something you should be doing anyway) becomes an incredible asset in the sales process.
You may have heard that in sales you have to overcome objections; things like “your price is too high!” or “the competition makes a better product”. In most sales training you are taught how to overcome these kinds of objections. The biggest objection however, and the main reason honesty is such an important sales trait, is the objection that is never said out loud…that people don’t trust you as soon as you try to sell them something!
There is only one way to overcome this objection, it’s to develop trust with the customer. Nothing makes a sale faster than trust, and trust is something that is earned by demonstrating the right behaviours…
• When you have the right attitude
• When you care and are curious about the customer
• When you listen and engage in meaningful dialogue
• When you are honest and act with integrity
It’s not about doing these things; it’s about being these things.
This series has been about opening your eyes to what selling can, and should, be. It’s not about techniques and tactics; it’s a philosophy of how to behave in the marketplace, and how to communicate your beliefs about the value you offer. Honesty is the overriding aspect of this philosophy; doing the right thing rather than looking to make the quick sale (and sometimes making no sale at all). Honesty has a two-pronged positive effect; it ultimately leads to greater success, and you feel better about that success because it was done the right way.
Am I idealistic, yes! These values are not always what work in the business world; many people “succeed” (monetarily) by behaving exactly like the “typical” salesperson/business person. This series of articles was meant for those of you who don’t want to be that way, for those of you who find selling distasteful. For those of you who feel that way, I hope these articles have opened your mind to a different path.